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Old 01-25-2008, 07:38 PM   #1
jjjenny
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Default My Dad

On October 24th my Dad had knee replacement surgery. He had so looked forward to that. He has gout, diabetes, blood problems and congestive heart failure. The doctors told him he was strong enough for this surgery and he had it. After surgery, it became apparent that something was wrong. For awhile he saw Indians shooting arrows at him and dogs attacking him. That lasted a short time.

We got him into a nursing home in Granbury, TX so he could get well. He was refusing to eat and seemed to be proud of it. He was not well enough to bring home. However, we brought him home two days for Thanksgiving and he even spent the night before Christmas at home.

Things just continue to go downhill. Last week he had congestive heart failure and went to the hospital. He has been speaking with his dead mother and brother.

Today, the doctor had a long talk with my mother. He suggests putting him in hospice for the duration of his life. The doctor said he should have about 2 months left. He said that for the past 2 1/2 weeks he has really lost a lot of weight and continues to go downhill.

My mother wants us (my sister, brother and myself) to come and help her move to Vernon, TX. That's our hometown. I'm going on Tuesday, it's a 7 1/2 hour drive, otherwise I would go more often.

I have been really close to my Dad. I'm afraid that I will break down and cry when I see him or when I am packing their things. I want to be strong for my Mom. If anyone knows how to stop the tears or to be strong please let me know.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:06 PM   #2
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I have nothing to offer Jenny---my mom died a few years ago and it is difficult. Your mom will likely be crying as well, so use each other to support one another. It is not easy, but try and remember the gift you had for having your dad in your lives for so many years.

My thoughts are with you!
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:12 PM   #3
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I went through a very similar time with my Dad, tho not to the same degree. After the same surgery he developed balance issues. It turned out he had a mini-stroke during the operation.

He did not need hospice care, although we were planning for assisting living, he passed quietly on his own before it happened. Our family is convinced he just let go in order to save himself from being a burden.

You WILL cry, it's been over 3 years and I still do occasionally. So will your mom. But I suspect you will find you have the support out there you need to get through this, as everyone has to eventually.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:17 PM   #4
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Oh Jenny. This will be very difficult, but you can be strong for your mom, your siblings and for yourself. And being strong does not mean there will be no tears. You need to give yourself permission to cry, and then do it. It's ok.

We'll all be thinking of you...
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:18 PM   #5
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Spend as much time with your father as you can.
My mom has been gone for 9 years. She was having knee surgery and had a heart attack on the table. She never regained consciousness. I never had the opportunity to really say good bye to her (our last conversation was really a fight about my schoolwork). The tears will come, let them.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:43 PM   #6
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My thoughts are with you and your entire family. Everyone is correct, be strong, but do not lose the moments that are left.
Peace.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:02 PM   #7
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Wow Jenny, my wife and I are very sorry to hear this. We went through something similar with my mother. She went into the hospital several years ago to fix an aortic aneurysm. The operation was extremely difficult because she had been a lifelong smoker, but it was successful. She was doing ok and due to get out of the hospital about 2 weeks later, but she never left. About the time she was to leave she started having problems. About two weeks after that she had her 80th birthday. Shortly thereafter she gave up, and her body began to quickly give out. We had my father move in with us shortly before her 80th, as we lived only 10 minutes walking distance from the hospital and then he wouldn't have to have a 1 hour each way commute to see her. She died 3 weeks after her birthday. The doctors were trying to bring her back, but we made the difficult choice, based on my mother's wishes, and her condition, to stop. She was never going to be the incredible person we loved in any way, ever again.

Seeing her daily during those last 3 weeks was the hardest thing I ever did. You just have to steel yourself to keep it together. At the same time, I'd bet that eventually your father, like my mother, will want to talk about his dieing. Unfortunately, for you, that's when it really get tough, but you've got to do it for your father. In the end, it will turn out to be the best thing you'll do for yourself as well, but you won't know it until some time later. It will help you prepare yourself to go on with your life after your father dies.

Please accept our best wishes for you and your family. It's hard to see it now, and it's easy for us to say, though hard to live it, you will get through these hard days upcoming. The human capacity for withstanding crises is enormous, and much greater than we think until we have faced a real one.
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:14 PM   #8
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There is a book out there by Dr, Elizabeth Kublar Ross called on Death and Dying. It is not a self help book, but a study (from a psychological point of view) and about how we all go through phases (I am trying to recall but there are 5 distinct phases I blieve) AN old book (late 60s) but very good. I was fortunate to hear her as a guest lecturer in a psych class at Temple back in 84-ish
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:02 PM   #9
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Jenny, know that you have the thoughts and prayers of all of us here with you. *hugs*
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:54 AM   #10
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Yes Jenny - I send my good thoughts out to you. Very hard to do, I know but you do have folks to share your grief with. That helps.
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